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Broadband Seismic Imaging in 3D

Fig. 1—Conventional 3D surveys (left) are typically acquired by a vessel equipped with streamers towed 50 to 100 m apart, leading to sparse sampling in the crossline direction. The new technology (right) enables reconstruction of the full 3D wavefield between the streamers.

The Earth is complex in all directions, and hydrocarbon traps require closure—whether structural or stratigraphic or both—in three dimensions. Improvements to the 3D surface-seismic-reflection method have enabled subsurface imaging with a wider range of frequencies, leading to increased resolution in time and subsequently depth. However, accurate structural imaging, and reliable inversion to reveal indicators of rock properties, also requires data finely sampled spatially in all directions.

On land, subject to terrain and access restrictions, seismic source and receiver spreads can be designed to deliver adequate and equal spatial sampling in all directions. In marine environments, towed-streamer geometries are usually the most economically viable solutions for acquiring large 3D-seismic surveys, but the streamers typically are towed 50 to 100 m apart, resulting in sparse, and often inadequate, sampling of the wavefield in the crossline direction.

WesternGeco’s new marine isometric-seismic technology delivers high-fidelity point-receiver data while overcoming spatial wave-number/bandwidth compromises that limited previous towed-streamer marine seismic-acquisition methods. It delivers a recording of the full 3D broadband seismic wavefield sampled on a 6.25×6.25-m point-­receiver surface grid.

Editor’s note: If you have a new technology introduced fewer than 2 years ago and would like to highlight it in Young Technology Showcase, please contact JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter.
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Broadband Seismic Imaging in 3D

Chris Cunnell, WesternGeco

01 September 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 9

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